BVRLA Releases Guide in Dealing with UK’s New Age Discrimination Ban

The United Kingdom’s ban on age discrimination is scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has released a guide to aid companies in dealing with this new regulation.

The age discrimination ban applies to anyone over the age of 18, but does not include age-related promotions such as age-based benefits or free bus passes for seniors, according to UK’s Home Office “Overview for Service Providers.”

In car rental, the law means that companies can no longer offer services based strictly on age. A rental company could, though, restrict certain services or add age-related charges, so long as the company can supply “objective justification” behind the age-based restrictions. The Home Office overview states that a “rental company may choose to rent a car to a younger or older person but charge them higher prices, deposits and excesses; if they are statistically more likely to have accidents, in order to reflect higher insurance premiums and the cost of repair if the car is involved in an accident.”

The BVRLA guide, according to the association, aims to help companies adapt to the changes and answer questions car rental companies will likely face. The guide also provides statistical evidence to help justify limiting rentals to certain age groups, according to the BVRLA.

The ban was supposed to take effect back in April but was opposed by several groups when it didn’t allow for supplemental charges or service restrictions. The BVRLA was among those that sent letters to the Home Office opposing the original restrictions, citing that it would cost its members £34.54 million annually to rent to young drivers. 

You can read more about the age discrimination ban — regulated through the UK’s Equality Act of 2010 — and how to obtain the BVRLA guide, here. You can also go to the Home Office website to learn more at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities.


For an article on age restrictions in the U.S. car rental industry, click here.

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